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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Ex-Uganda leader weds by satellite
Unification Church mass wedding blessing in South Korea
Often Moonie couples meet for the first time on their wedding day
Former Ugandan President Godfrey Binaisa has married his Japanese bride without meeting her.

The 84-year-old exchanged vows with Ms Yamamoto by satellite link in front of followers of the Unification Church, also known as Moonies.

"Not only does she like me, she loves me - and I love her too," Mr Binaisa told Uganda's Monitor newspaper.

The ceremony took place on 26 July, along with thousands of other couples at a stadium in South Korea.

'Whole-hearted support'

Ms Yamamoto, 58, who lives in the United States, is reported to be joining her husband in Uganda next month.

"She will arrive in style... [my family] support me whole-heartedly. They welcome her with both hands," Mr Binaisa said.

Former Ugandan President Godfrey Binaisa holding a picture of his new wife (Picture from The Monitor)
I am sharp. I am smart. And I move very fast
Godfrey Binaisa
Former Ugandan president
According to the paper, Mr Binaisa could not remember his wife's first name, but said they had spoken a great deal on the phone.

Mr Binaisa, whose first wife died last year, was deposed as president in a military coup in 1980.

He lived in exile, mostly in New York, until his return to Uganda in 2001.

The movement of the Unification Church was founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon in 1954 and is dedicated to building world peace through loving families.

New families are established through arranged marriages, and couples are matched by photograph - often not meeting until their wedding day.

The religious sect caused a stir in Zambia in 2001 when Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo married Maria Sung, a Korean doctor in a Moonie mass wedding.

But after pressure from the Vatican the cleric broke off the relationship.

Timeline: Uganda
24 May 04  |  Country profiles
10,000 to wed in stadium
10 Feb 00  |  Asia-Pacific
Zambian cleric returns home
06 Dec 02  |  Africa

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